It can be easy to buy gifts for your family, even your friends. You know what your children have been eyeing all year. Your spouse has hinted at that patio furniture more than once. And even your in-laws can be appeased with a good stock of imported tea as a stocking stuffer.
But over the years, you’ve grown a bit more mindful of the impact of the holidays. Not just on your wallet, but on the environment and on the health of your family, as well. Let’s face it, the World’s Largest Jar of Whiskey Pickles you gave for the White Elephant round last year likely ended up in the landfill.
Even if you do opt to treat your honey to that patio set, you can make an impact on the environment by choosing stocking stuffers that are both healthy and environmentally conscious. Don’t worry – these don’t have to be handmade gifts. Even the less “crafty” gift givers can a choose stocking stuffer that is healthy, safe for your family to use, and easy on the planet.
Ready to go shopping? Here are 17 natural products that make the perfect stocking stuffer.
Stocking Stuffers to Please Anyone
Of course, for as many people as there are on your shopping list, there are just as many interests. We’ll look a little more at specific interests later in this list. For now, though, check out these stocking stuffers. They’re “unisex” products, and you can buy them for any age.
This body wash is 100% natural. You won’t find any sodium lauryl sulfates, parabens, GMOs or the host of other nasty toxins that some manufacturers put into their soaps. When you give this as a stocking stuffer, your loved one will have a soap, shampoo, and a bath soak!
What’s even better about Total Body Wash is this: even the most particular of your family will love it. You can choose the refreshing citrus scent or the calming lavender. Or, if you like, you can choose the unscented version, which is great for even the most sensitive of noses.
What does every adult human on the planet have in common? Okay, sure. We all love the smell of babies. But more importantly, we all have laundry in common. We all wear clothes, and we all need to wash them.
Did you know that laundry detergent manufacturers aren’t required to list the ingredients they use? That means your clothing could be (and probably is) swimming in ammonia, phenols, petroleum and even formaldehyde. Zum Clean Laundry Soap comes in delightful scents, including patchouli and sage, and is free of all toxins. The soap itself is vegetarian, though the company does use goat’s milk in other products.
Alright, so these may be a bit larger than a typical stocking stuffer. But Earth Linens has a wonderful range of organic textile products that everyone on your list will love. From beach wraps to bath towels, Earth Linens are biodegradable, polyurethane-free, and certified organic. They sell natural fibers, such as bamboo, flax and cotton, and they support sustainable and fair-trade agriculture.
While you’re at it, pick up a set of sheets or a bath towel for yourself. Natural and organic textiles are some of the softest you’ve ever felt – very luxurious!
Will adding deodorant to your shopping list for stocking stuffers start an argument this year? No, way! Just hear us out.
Yes, we recommend slipping some of this natural deodorant into your mother-in-law’s stocking this year. Do we recommend that this be the only gift you give her? No. Please don’t do that. Instead, add this to a thoughtfully curated collection of products – try lip balms, natural soaps and bath salts, for example.
PurelyGreat Natural Deodorant isn’t just for your mother-in-law, either. The whole family will love the smooth, breathable feel, and there’s a scent for everyone. EWG verified, there is no aluminum, triclosan or parabens in the product, and it is vegan-friendly, too! Created with natural ingredients and packaged in a recyclable container, it’s the perfect eco-friendly stocking stuffer.
Stocking Stuffers for the Foodie on Your List
Natural stocking stuffers aren’t just limited to those products you can use on your skin. Why not incorporate a few of these gifts into your shopping list this year. From the most experienced chef to the most amateur – well – microwaver, there’s something on this list for everyone.
Red Moon Herbs was founded in 1994 mountains of North Carolina, United States. For over 20 years, the company has grown their own herbs, as well as taught others sustainable agriculture through the Earthaven Ecovillage.
Red Moon Herbs is committed to environmentally sustainable practices, and you can feel confident that the herbal infusions (read: teas) they sell are locally sourced and mindful of the planet.
Try Holy Basil tea for relaxation, or oatstraw for nervous system health. For the more adventurous, try one of Red Moon Herbs’ vinegars, which can be used as dressings, for cooking, or just as a daily supplement!
Do you have a friend who can’t fully wake up without his triple-shot-mochafrappuccino-with-a-splash-of-soy? Why not treat him to a fair trade, sustainable and, of course, delicious cup of coffee at home?
Buying coffee can be tricky. Many times, product packaging will try to trick you into thinking that the coffee you’re buying is sustainable. In fact, some of those products aren’t. Many of these coffee products are farmed in ways that are harmful to the environment. Then, they’re harvested in a way that is harmful to the local economy, even human rights.
Start with an organization like Equal Exchange, and choose the product and blend you like best. Take some time, too, to learn about seasonal coffee growers and how cooperatives work. Fair trade practices aren’t just for coffee!
Little Life Box is just one of hundreds of companies that will send you a box of organic products to try – every month. If you can’t decide on just one stocking stuffer for your friend or family member, try a sampling of many products!
Little Life Box, as well as other companies, offer an original and a vegan option. They’ll send a box of assorted treats to your friend’s home each month, with items including teas, candies, energy bars and even some beauty products.
The best part about a subscription box is that it’s appropriate for everyone. If you’re stuck for a gift to give to someone you don’t know very well, these gift boxes are more personal than a gift card, yet will suit anyone’s tastes.
Stocking Stuffers for the Outdoors Types
People who love the outdoors come in all flavors. Some love fishing and camping, while others would rather Leave No Trace, and opt for a clean hiking trip over the weekend. Regardless of your loved one’s preferences, you can find an eco-friendly and natural stocking stuffer to make him or her happy. Here are a few ideas.
How cool are these little gadgets?! Whether your friend is a camper, a hiker, or just loves sitting on the front porch on summer evenings, these solar lights will make the perfect stocking stuffer.
When left in direct sunlight for 7 hours, the batteries will fully charge, allowing for up to 16 hours of use. That’s enough to keep the tent lit all night, or even to act as a nightlight for the tiniest campers.
The inflatable solar lights can float and are waterproof, and you’ll never need to replace the battery. They’re extremely durable, and are 100% PVC free.
If your outdoors-lover is a hiker, she might appreciate the LifeStraw personal water filter. Many commercial water filtration systems include harmful chemicals. Chlorine, ozone and other toxins are used in commercial processes, making you wonder if you wouldn’t rather just drink the bacteria.
This compact little stick will filter up to 1,000 liters of water. It uses no batteries, no chlorine and no iodine. It’s BPA-free, and what’s best is that it has no shelf life. Your hiker can use the LifeStraw in the spring of this year, then shelf it until she hikes the Appalachian the next.
If you’ve got a garden, you’ve probably come across neem seed oil. This oil is a natural deterrent to tomato worms, slugs and other creatures which love to snack on your produce. But this oil isn’t only beneficial to the gardener.
Studies have shown that neem seed oil is actually more effective than DEET as an insect repellent. These aren’t just any studies, either. The Malaria Institute in India, the US National Research Council and the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association all agree.
Neem seed oil will not harm our pollinators, like bees. It’s also non-toxic to plants, birds and mammals. Please don’t bathe in the river after application, though. Neem oil is slightly toxic to fish.
This oil is an effective insect repellant, but it’s also used in Ayurvedic medicine for a number of ailments. Just an ounce or two of the oil would make a great stocking stuffer for your resident hiker, camper or gardener.
Natural Stocking Stuffers for Kids
Everyone’s got a kid on their shopping list this year. And, of course, there are quite a few kids who have already developed a list of just exactly what they’d like to see under the tree. But if you’re looking for something a little different this year, check out these companies. They specialize in natural toys for kids.
Oompa is a company based in Maine, and it sources local toys. They ship to Canada and internationally for an additional shipping charge.
If you’re looking for toys which are made from sustainable and handmade products, Oompa is a good place to start. For the babies, the company sells teething toys, soft dolls and even wooden ride-on toys for the older set. You’ll find tons of stocking stuffers on the site for the tiniest of your gift recipients.
Bigger kids will love soy-wax crayon rocks as a stocking stuffer this year. And Oompa has products for even the older kiddos. Many are Montessori and Waldorf-approved, and the products use water-based varnishes and natural colorings.
This Michigan-based company offers wooden, natural and organic toys. Most are geared toward the younger kids, but you’ll find a few treats for the older children on your list as well.
If you’re not sure what to choose, the site does offer a stocking stuffer gift guide. Or, you can just opt for a gift certificate!
What kid doesn’t love art? From toddler to teen, you can find eco-friendly, non-toxic and biodegradable art supplies at Stubby Pencil. In fact, you might not want to limit these to just stocking stuffers. An artistic child would love a full range of supplies.
Stubby Pencil sells every art medium you could hope to find for your little artist. There are biodegradable crayons, pencils and markers. There are even scented markers and “smencils.” Want to buy a craft kit? Stubby Pencil’s got those, too. All are safe for your kids to use, and what’s more is that they’re quite affordable!
Keep It Simple: Stocking Stuffers that Won’t Break the Bank
Chances are, you’ve spent a lot of money on holiday shopping. Often, stocking stuffers are little more than an afterthought. In fact, traditionally stocking stuffers have been quite simple! Gifts of oranges and nuts, a few silver dollars or even just a candy cane or two are timeless.
If you’re looking for gifts that are affordable, yet enjoyable, here are just a few ideas of gifts that you can place in anyone’s stocking this year. All are natural products, and your family and friends will love them!
These little stocking stuffers are technically called spice tins. But they’re actually quite suitable for anyone. Who hasn’t had the experience of sifting through a “junk drawer” trying to find a paperclip or a safety pin?
Good for arts and crafts supplies, loose change or, well, spices, these stocking stuffers will make just about anyone happy. What’s more is that stainless steel won’t rust or wear with time. These tins are great for years and years of use.
Another stainless steel option, these drinking straws are reusable. Plastic straws are in absolutely no way eco-friendly – they’re very wasteful, in fact, and that plastic isn’t biodegradable.
Stainless steel drinking straws are yet another option that would be suitable for a huge range of people. Give a set to your friends who have children. Or buy a couple for your favorite teacher. These straws will last for a very long time and are much more environmentally sound than their plastic cousins.
Everybody brushes their teeth! But did you know that 50 million pounds of toothbrushes enter the landfills each year in the United States alone? That’s a lot of trash, and the plastics that toothbrushes are made from don’t decompose or biodegrade.
Enter WooBamboo! toothbrushes. These are made from organically grown, biodegradable and sustainable bamboo. Better yet, they’re naturally anti-microbial. Couple this gift with a natural toothpaste, like Dr. Bronner’s, and you’ve got the perfect stocking stuffer idea.
Okay, we saved the best for last. These neat little bombs are meant to declare war – on empty lots and barren plots.
Now, we’ll explain to you just exactly what these little bits of ammunition are for. But please be sure to read through, as we’ve got a bit of a disclaimer for you, too. Seed bombs can be bought wholesale or from retailers, but it’s cheaper to make them on your own. You can follow the instructions in the link above.
These stocking stuffers are meant to be lobbed at otherwise barren places – the side of a highway, an empty city plot, wherever you see fit. Within a few months, that empty lot will become a flower garden for the neighborhood to enjoy.
There’s a caveat, though. Be sure that the seeds in your bombs are local to the area of the gift recipient. Introducing foreign plant species to a region can be quite detrimental to the environment; you’d actually be doing more harm than good.
There are hundreds of natural stocking stuffers you can give to your friends and family this holiday season; these are just a few of the ones we like best. Have fun choosing, and remember that there’s a lot of joy in the process, as well. Shop mindfully, and know that you’re doing your best to protect the health of your family and your planet.